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Colorado Bound? It'll Be a Bit Before the State's New Marijuana Law Takes Effect.

Colorado Bound? It'll Be a Bit Before the State's New Marijuana Law Takes Effect.

Let's just cut to the chase: At least 14 months.

That's how long it will be before the first retail non-medical marijuana store in Colorado, our friendly neighbor to the northwest, might open. Not that anyone is counting.

Looks like the nearest big town to Texas on an interstate in Colorado is Trinidad, about 600 miles -- or about a six-hour drive -- away. Not that you're interested.

It's 882 miles from Dallas to Denver, by the way. Just putting that out there for future reference.

Obviously, the really important election news Tuesday was the presidential race and various Senate races in faraway places like Massachusetts and Indiana. Vital stuff for the republic and stuff going on there. Yep, it's been a long, hard grind for the electorate, so we're all probably ready for a vacation in some lovely place like Colorado, whose voters approved Amendment 64 on Election Day, which legalizes the personal possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana as of December 6 and sets in motion the long process for creating retail stores and suppliers in the state.

First, the Colorado Department of Revenue has to establish licensing procedures then accept and receive applications. Local government leaders also must OK ordinances that will determine whether and how many marijuana shops can open in their towns.

So it will be 14 months before the first licenses can be granted, said Morgan Fox, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

Of course, considering the Obama administration's Justice Department is insisting that A) marijuana possession and cultivation is still against federal law and B) federal law trumps the wise wisdom of Colorado's very wise electorate, it's natural to wonder who will have the guts to apply for the first retail license in the state.

Fox was sanguine about that.

"I don't think the Obama has enough political capital" to push back hard against the political will of Colorado's voters. (He just eked out a win in the state Tuesday, 50-48 percent over Mitt Romney.)

"I think the Department of Justice is going to be a lot more lax going forward," Fox predicted. "They've seen the writing on the wall."

But will there be resistance from locals who don't want marijuana shops in their towns? Maybe, Fox said, but the state already allows medical marijuana sales, so prospective retailers will have a good idea of where they are or aren't welcome. Fox expects the first retailers will be "a bunch of smaller operations" that aim to fly below the feds' radar.

Sort of a mom-and-pop pot thing, maybe.

But all that's in the future. In about one year and two months, which will be just a perfect time for a road trip. Yeah, and those Colorado folks just love, love, love to see Texas drivers on their roadways. It's a known fact.


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